Friday, July 15, 2011

Sketchbook Project: Kappas

Kappas, pen, watercolor & acrylic ink on watercolor paper, 7 x 10", 2011.
I worked on another page in my "uncharted waters" sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. This time I drew kappas.

Kappas come from Japanese folklore.  They're pretty strange... they like cucumbers, pranks, and politeness.  They have a bowl-thing on the top of their head that carries waters, and it has to be full when they leave water or they can't move.  Kappas also seem to like drowning children and horses, and there are still warning signs about them all over Japan. They're also supposed to be the inspiration for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... but the Turtles eat pizza... and don't drown stuff.

When I started this drawing I didn't have a clear picture in my head of what my kappas would look like, so they kind of evolved with the drawing. It's weird how some things come out without being planned. For every drawing so far in the sketchbook project I've painted ink on top of wet watercolor, so it bleeds and comes out very loose looking. This one is especially out of control, but I guess it's a sketchbook, and I shouldn't obsess about it!


  1. i like this a lot.. but how do they like politeness and also enjoy drowning children?

  2. Turtlemen!!! :D

  3. Zack: That's how you trick them. If they're going to be mean to you, and you bow to them, the politeness makes them fell obligated to bow back. Then the water falls out of their bowl-heads, and the freeze.

    Thank you for your enthusiasm, mysterious anonymous poster :)

  4. This is a really interesting drawing. I like the mood it carries. It's like something I could imagine to pour over again and again in a children's book, it makes you wonder about the story.

  5. lol...I just read your description of this picture and loved it. You are too funny! :)

  6. Thank you, Kiri!

    Thanks, Anne!!!

  7. very sweet Sarah, good luck on exploring more uncharted waters!


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